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Minimum Wage Increase Brings Maximum Difficulty for Small Biz Owners

By Rob Basso

Every eligible American worker is, by law, entitled to fair pay. The challenge is what we as a nation deem to be fair is constantly up for debate and generally arguments ensue. Political parties, unions, employee rights organization and business owners have been wrangling over the merits of higher minimum wage for low skill jobs for as long as organized labor and wage laws have existed.

No one should ever diminish the plight of hard working men and women who fill lower paid jobs. There are countless reasons why individuals find themselves in minimum wage. These include lack of education, a recent loss from a current and higher paying position and lack of training or skills or even lack of better opportunity are just a few. For others minimum wage is simply a starting wage.

Rarely do I hear an outcry from our elected officials when it comes to the plight of the small business owners that keeps this country flush with jobs to fill. Business owners risk their own capital and expend tremendous effort and energy with only the hope that their will and determination, along with a solid business plan, will provide them with not just a job for themselves, but a long-term sustainable asset. The seemingly innocuous $1 per hour minimum wage increase to Long Island employers adds significant cost to the running of their enterprise and lowers profit as they cannot continually add cost to the consumer to pay for the increase.

Let’s take a fictional company called Bobby’s Bobbleheads, LLC. Bobby has 10 employees that each work 40 hours a week and all now received the additional $1 per hour increase that took effect 12/31/2018. With estimated employer taxes that are required to be paid solely by the employer in addition to the $1 increase, the total cost to the employer is $449.40 a week or nearly $23,388.80 per year. Bobby could always use inferior material for his bobbleheads, but then heads would certainly roll. Customers would stop buying or buy fewer products and this would force Bobby to lay off employees or even worse close his doors.

For small business owners to continue to take risks there must be a commensurate reward. In the scenario above, the business owner most likely will have to take a personal haircut of their remuneration. Many Long Islanders believe that business owners are big earners; this is simply not the case. They made a choice to be in the most control possible of their hopes and dreams. They choose to pursue the American dream.

However, the continuing pressure on small business to perform and provide jobs for the nation is now jeopardy. Rapid and unchecked government mandated minimum wage increases and other burdens create maximum difficulty on those who drive the regional and national economy. Now as we enter 2019, it is the ideal time to create an environment that will allow small business to thrive, grow and create good paying jobs, well above minimum wage.

Rob Basso, CEO and Founder, Associated Human Capital Management, Plainview, NY

Office sharing startup aims to transform vacant space

For landlords that have some un-leased spaces, Graham Beck says he may have a solution.

Called DropDesk, the concept converts under-utilized commercial real estate into shared offices. While it creates flexible work environments for freelancers and other entrepreneurs, DropDesk also provides landlords with a solution to derive revenue from formerly vacant space.

Beck is no stranger to the shared-office sector. In 2015, he co-founded Long Beach-based Bridgeworks, which provides work space inside a renovated commercial building for startups and other small business owners who can’t afford or don’t want to commit to leasing a permanent office.

With DropDesk, Beck is taking that idea on the road to other building owners. He already has co-working locations in Plainview, Manhattan and Hoboken, N.J. and is currently seeking several more, with a goal of establishing at least 30 locations by the end of the year.

Click here to read the full article on LIBN.com.

NYS Paid Family Leave updates for 2019


Extension of the leave period and an increase in employee contributions will affect payroll deductions and business planning.

A heads-up for employers: The new year has brought some key changes to the state’s law on an important employee benefit.

The New York Paid Family Leave Act provides for partially paid, job-protected leave for eligible employees under certain circumstances, and in 2019 the leave period has changed from eight to 10 weeks.

Another key change is an increase in employee contributions, so employers should make sure payroll deductions have been updated and have a contingency plan to cover for employees taking a leave.

Click here to read the full article on Newsday.com.

Basso: Compromise needed as small business tries to climb Trump’s wall

By Rob Basso

A strong immigration policy is an absolute necessity to keep America safe and to preserve our core values. A wall, a fence, drones, lasers from space; nothing will keep people from their desire to be part of something special we have in this nation.

The promise of America is irresistible and also something to be protected. While fortune at times favors the bold, I am in favor of discourse, debate and compromise in this matter. The new Congress and the President must give this issue their full attention now. Each day that they don’t take action, small business owners and the economy as a whole suffers.

Click here to read the full article on LIBN.com

 

Associated HCM CEO, Rob Basso, featured in LIBN Who’s Who

Long Island is comprised of companies that provide services to other companies. Regardless of what service they offer, they keep their clients on top of their game so they can compete in today’s business environment.

LIBN featured Rob Basso, along with some of Long Island’s other business services leaders in their latest edition of “Who’s Who.” Click here to learn about our CEO!  

Rob Basso on Profit Express: Pursuing Your Passion

PART 1  |  PART 2

Pursuing Your Passion

You have no doubt heard that Pursuing Your Passion is the way to go when starting a business. Maybe it is – maybe it isn’t.

Let’s face it starting a business requires a series of gut wrenching decisions to get it right. What happens if Pursuing Your Passion doesn’t pay? My guest, Founder and CEO of Associated HCM, Rob Basso pursued the right business model. Find out how he is now running his 2nd successful startup after just having sold his 1st which he created 20 years ago.

Does Pursuing Your Passion Pay the Bills?

Rob Basso didn’t necessarily see the payroll industry as a sexy industry or a passion he was pursuing. He did see payroll as a great business model that offers a critical service that can help so many other small businesses grow. As a goal driven, motivated entrepreneur, Rob pursued his dream of owning a successful business and created Advantage Payroll.

When I asked Rob how do you know which is the right company to start he said, “Investigate industries that interest you and that make money!” It’s not always about pursuing passion – especially if it doesn’t pay.

Time to Sell

After having built a successful company over the last 20 years, the time to sell was right. This past April Rob sold Advantage Payroll to the $3 billion dollar giant! It turns out his passion was for his people. When he sold, it ended up being a very emotional time for him as he was saying goodbye to some of the people he worked with since day one.

Motivation is Key

Rob is motivated to capitalize on his payroll experience and reach the growth he did with Advantage in half the time! I asked Rob what he felt was more important – motivation or confidence. Rob said, “If I had to choose one I would say motivation is more important. It is what gets you up in the morning. It gets you out of bed and puts a smile on your face to close the deal.”

Important ACA Deadlines and Consent Information

Filing of 2018 Forms

  • Forms must be furnished to employees no later than January 31, 2019.
  • Forms 1094-C and 1095-C must be filed to the IRS by February 28, 2019 if filing on paper.
  • Forms must be filed by April 1, 2019 if filing electronically.
  • For final 2018 1094-C and 1095-C instructions, please visit https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i109495c.pdf.

Consent to furnish 1095-C Statements electronically

Unless an employees has given specific consent to provide their form electronically, all forms must be furnished to employees by mail or delivered by hand.

For those employers that would like to furnish the forms electronically, the employee must confirm his or her consent electronically, to demonstrate the ability to retrieve the electronic form. A statement may be furnished electronically by informing the individual how to access the statement on the employer’s website. The consent must relate specifically to receiving the Form 1095-C electronically.

New York Sexual Harassment Prevention Requirements Finalized

The New York State Department of Labor (NYDOL) has released a finalized sexual harassment prevention policy, poster, complaint form, training materials, and minimum training standards. As anticipated, some of the most onerous requirements have been relaxed.

Notably, employers are now required to provide training to all employees by October 9, 2019 (instead of January 1), and new employees must be trained “as quickly as possible” (instead of within 30 days). Most of the policy and training requirements remain the same, though some have been clarified. Below are the basic requirements.

The entirety of the materials and requirements can be found here.

Training
The state has provided compliant training materials for employers to use free of charge. This includes a PowerPoint presentation, script, and case scenarios.

The training may be presented to employees individually or in groups. It may be presented in person, on the phone, or as a webinar or recorded presentation. The training should do as many of the following as possible to meet the requirement that it be interactive:

  • Ask employees questions as part of the program
  • Allow employees to ask questions, with answers provided in a timely manner
  • Require feedback from employees about the training and the materials presented

The model training released by the NYDOL includes detailed instructions as well as an 18-page script. It is available here.

Employers who choose to deviate from the materials provided by the state must ensure that their training is interactive and includes the following (these requirements have not changed since the draft materials were released):

  • An explanation of sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by the NYDOL
  • Examples of conduct that would constitute unlawful sexual harassment
  • Information regarding the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment
  • Information about employees’ rights of redress and all available forums for resolving complaints
  • Information addressing conduct by supervisors and any additional responsibilities for such supervisors

Policy and Complaint Form
The state has provided a model policy, which we recommend employers adopt. It is available here. A model complaint form is available on the same page and should be provided with the policy. Employers must provide every employee with their policy in writing, either on paper or electronically. If employers only provide an electronic copy, employees must be able to print it from a work computer.

The policy requirement goes into effect on October 9, 2018. Current employees should be provided with the policy as soon as possible, and new employees should be provided with the policy immediately upon hire. Although an acknowledgement form is not required by law, we strongly suggest employers collect one from each employee.

Employers who choose to write their own policy must ensure that it does all the following (these requirements have not changed since the draft materials were released):

  • Prohibits sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by the NYDOL
  • Provides examples of prohibited conduct that would constitute unlawful sexual harassment
  • Includes information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment, remedies available to victims of sexual harassment, and a statement that there may be applicable local laws
  • Includes a complaint form
  • Includes a procedure for the timely and confidential investigation of complaints that ensures due process for all parties
  • Informs employees of their rights of redress and all available forums for resolving sexual harassment complaints administratively and judicially
  • Clearly states that sexual harassment is considered a form of employee misconduct and that sanctions will be enforced against individuals who engage in sexual harassment and against supervisory and managerial personnel who knowingly allow such behavior
  • Clearly states that retaliation against individuals who complain of sexual harassment or who testify or assist in any investigation or proceeding involving sexual harassment is unlawful

Poster
Employers are encouraged but not required to fill out and post the Sexual Harassment Prevention Poster in a conspicuous location in the workplace. A Word document is available for download in the same location as the model policy, here.

 

Please contact your Payroll Specialist if you have additional questions. Not a client yet? Request a quote today!

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